Names for Consideration as Chair of the CFTC

Names of Potential CFTC Chairman
John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

Leading Industry Legal Sources’ Recommendations for CFTC Chair Collected by JLN

I have written a letter to the President of the United States about the need for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to have a permanent chair named and confirmed. I have suggested that Rostin Behnam, the current acting chairman of the CFTC, should become the permanent chair of the Commission.

I determined Behnam was the choice after I requested suggestions from leading legal sources from the derivatives and capital markets who are known to me and who are subscribers to the John Lothian Newsletter. However, there was an exhaustive list of other suggestions for chairman of the CFTC from my sources. If Behnam is not President Biden’s choice, then any of these named individuals has the experience, knowledge, education and leadership to serve admirably as CFTC chair.

I have not distinguished the choices by any demographic category, I only listed them by their qualifications to serve. However, qualified people of many different demographics are on the list. Listed are people from the industry, or from Washington. Listed are people who are lawyers and some who are not (though most are). Listed are people with previous service at the CFTC and many other government organizations and party affiliations. Listed are people who leading legal sources of mine think would make excellent chairs of the CFTC, or potentially commissioners.

Here is the list of names from my contacts in alphabetical order by first name:

The first name is Alice Patricia White. Pat White is an economist whose work focuses on financial market regulatory policy with an emphasis on derivative instruments. For more than 31 years, she worked at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, where she was appointed Senior Associate Director.

The second name is Allison Lurton, general counsel of the FIA, a former trial attorney at the Department of Justice who had a previous stop at the CFTC where she was in the Division of Enforcement, counsel to Acting Chairman Lukken and Acting Chairman Dunn, Chairman Gensler and Commissioner O’Malia.

The next name is Annette Nazareth, now senior counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and formerly at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for 10 years, including as a commissioner. She also served the SEC as director, Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets) and senior counsel and interim director, Division of Investment Management.

The next suggested name was Barbara Novick, vice chairman at BlackRock.

Retired CBOT and CME Group executive Bryan Durkin’s name was on the list of suggestions. Durkin previously served on the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee with me.

Also named was Carol A. Wooding, vice president, general counsel and secretary of the National Futures Association. She succeeded Tom Sexton as general counsel when Sexton moved to become NFA President.

Additionally, Caroline D. Pham, the managing director of global regulatory strategy & policy at Citi was named. Early in her career, Pham spent some summers working for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the SEC and the CFTC, though not all at the same time.

Chris Brummer, Georgetown law professor and faculty director at the Institute of International Economic Law, was named as a candidate for the chairman role. He was named in several stories earlier in the year as the leading candidate for the role and was nominated by President Obama back in 2016, but his nomination ran out before he was confirmed. Brummer in April released research about how few black financial regulators there are. In March, Brummer was named to the board of Fannie Mae, seemingly taking him out of the CFTC chair slot.

Christine Parker, a partner at Reed Smith and formerly at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP for over 10 years, is another name suggested. She spent some time as the legislative counsel for the Office of U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.

Cyrus Amir-Mokri, the general counsel of J.P. Morgan & Chase, was another name my sources suggested. Amir-Mokri previously served as assistant secretary for financial institutions for the US Department of the Treasury and as senior counsel to the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

CFTC Commissioner Dan Berkovitz was a name frequently suggested for the role of chairman. Berkovitz served as chief economist at the CFTC before returning as a commissioner.

Dan Waldman, a partner at Arnold & Porter, is another name that has been suggested. Former CFTC Chairwoman Brooksley Born is a retired partner of Arnold & Porter.

De’Ana Dow, a partner and general counsel of Capitol Counsel LLC, has been suggested as a posible chair nominee. She worked for the CME Group and NYMEX after having been at the CFTC for 22 years in a variety of roles, including counsel to Chairman William Rainer, under the Clinton Administration and special advisor to Chairman James Newsome under the Bush Administration.

Former Commissioner Fred Hatfield’s name has been suggested. He is looking for what is next after recently leaving the board of the Intercontinental Exchange.

Katten attorney Gary DeWaal’s name was suggested. DeWaal previously worked at the CFTC, leaving in 1986 as a senior trial attorney before moving into the brokerage sector. He is knowledgeable, experienced and wears a mean fishing vest.

Geoffrey Aronow, retired partner at Sidley Austin LLP, is another suggestion. He spent 18 months at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as chief counsel and senior policy advisor in the Office of International Affairs and as a senior counsel to the chair.

Heidi Heitkamp, a former U.S. Senator (D) North Dakota, is a name that has been suggested.

Chief Operating Officer and SVP, Global Policy at FIA, Inc. Jacqueline Mesa is someone who was suggested and who served a previous stint at the CFTC, including as director of the Office of International Affairs. She also served as a legal counsel to Commissioner Walter Lukken.

Jamila Piracci is another name suggested a couple of times for the chairman role. She is a senior director at Patomak, was previously at the National Futures Association overseeing swap dealers under the Dodd-Frank Act, from 2011-2019, including creating NFA’s program. She has also worked at the New York Federal Reserve, dealer banks, ISDA and today serves on the board of the FIA.

Attorney and consultant Justin Slaughter is another name suggested. Slaughter has served at both the SEC and the CFTC, as well as in private legal practice. At the SEC, he was senior adviser and director, Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. At the CFTC, he served as chief policy adviser & special counsel for commissioner Sharon Bowen.

Kara Stein, a distinguished policy fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and a member of the board of IEX, is another name suggested. She also serves on the Financial Stability Task Force, a 10-person task force charged with recommending steps for the improvement of U.S. financial system resilience in the face of severely adverse developments.

Longtime NFA executive Karen Wuertz is another name on the list of suggestions. She is the senior vice president of communications and strategy at the NFA and has worked for the Chicago Stock Exchange and ABN AMRO.

Kathryn Trkla, a derivatives and securities regulatory attorney at Foley & Lardner LLP and a two-time attorney with the Chicago Board of Trade, is another name suggested.

Kenneth Raisler, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and former general counsel of the CFTC, is another suggestion for chairman. He also spent some time with the U.S. Attorney’s Office

Kimberly Johns, a managing director and associate general counsel at Goldman Sachs, is another suggestion from my legal sources.

Laura Astrada, managing director at The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), spent six years at the CFTC, leaving as associate director for clearing policy, Division of Clearing & Risk. She also served as a senior counsel to Commissioner Mark Wetjen.

Lauren Teigland-Hunt, another suggested name, is managing partner at Teigland-Hunt LLP, a law practice focusing on physical commodities and securities trading. She previously worked at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and as a futures trader and commercial lender in New York and Paris. She is also counsel to several ISDA drafting committees and is chair of the OTC Derivatives Subcommittee of the American Bar Association.

Chicago Federal Reserve Financial Markets Group Senior Policy Advisor and Director of International Engagement Maggie Sklar is a name on the list. She spent over seven and a half years at the CFTC, ending in the office of the chairman as a senior counsel and advisor to Chris Giancarlo.

Mark D. Young is another suggested name. He is a partner in the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP who started as a staff attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of the CFTC in 1977.

Nancy Stern is the CEO and a board member at Allston Holdings LLC. Her name has been suggested. She previously was a partner with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP (now Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP).

Petal Walker is another name suggested to serve as chair of the CFTC. She is a special counsel at WilmerHale and an advisor on futures and swaps compliance and regulation. She also served as chief counsel to Commissioner Bowen.

Former SEC Commissioner Robert J. Jackson Jr. was suggested as CFTC chairman. Before being named SEC commissioner, he was a professor at NYU School of Law, and before that was professor of law and director of the Program on Corporate Law and Policy at Columbia Law School, both in New York City. He has also served as an adviser at the Treasury Department and in the Office of the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation.

Law Professor Ronald Filler, director of the center on financial services at New York Law School, is another name suggested as CFTC chairman. Filer previously was a managing director for Lehman Brothers.

B. Salman Banaei, an executive director at IHS Markit and a CFTC staffer for four years, is another suggested name. Banaei was an economist/attorney-advisor for the CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight and a senior counsel and policy advisor to Commissioner Bart Chilton. He was also the 2011 recipient of Chairman Gary Gensler’s Staff Excellence award.

Sam Schulhofer-Wohl is another suggestion. He is an economist and SVP at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and has spent the last 11 years in the Federal Reserve System in Chicago and Minneapolis. He has also taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago.

Sandie O’Connor retired from JPMorgan Chase & Co. as chief regulatory affairs officer after 31 years at the bank. She currently serves on the board of Ripple and Terex. Her name was suggested as a candidate for chairman of the CFTC.

Former CFTC Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen’s name is also on this list. She has served in the public and private sector and today is a member of the board of the Intercontinental Exchange.

Stephen Luparello‘s name was suggested. He is the former general counsel for Citadel Securities who was replaced by former CFTC chairman Heath Tarbert. He previously served as director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets. He was a partner at WilmerHale, specializing in broker-dealer compliance and regulation, securities litigation, and enforcement. Luparello spent 16 years at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Susan Ervin is another name on the list. She is a retired partner/senior counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP who served both the SEC and the CFTC previously. She was a senior advisor, Division of Investment Management at the SEC and chief counsel for the CFTC.

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama is a name suggested. She is an honors graduate of Princeton University and Oxford University and received her law degree from Harvard Law School.

Another name on the list is Timothy Karpoff, global head of strategy at Citi. He has also served as group head of strategy and corporate development for Barclays, a partner at Jenner & Block, a director of the Office of Financial Institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and counsel to the chairman of the CFTC.

The last two names on the list are guys with jobs they will not give up, even for a chance to serve as CFTC chairman. The first is Tom Sexton, NFA’s president, and the other is Walt Lukken, former acting CFTC chairman, who is president and CEO of the Futures Industry Association.

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